Officer who chased murderer ‘without any thought for his safety’ recognised

The actions of a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer who witnessed a murder and then chased and arrested the offender have been recognised with a Commissioner’s Commendation for bravery. 

Jan 3, 2019
By Serena Lander

Sergeant Matthew Ebbs was working in plain clothes during an operation to tackle drug dealing in Camden, North London, in September 2017 when he saw two men arguing. One then pulled out a 12in carving knife and stabbed the other.

The armed man, Erick Ekam, initially ran at the 26-year-old officer but then fled along Hampstead Road where he threw his knife onto the railway tracks. The chase ended when Ekam was arrested and detained by Sgt Ebbs after a “violent struggle”.

MPS Commissioner Cressida Dick said it was “both an extraordinary and tragic event”, adding: “I am proud to be able to recognise Matt’s bravery with a Commendation. He acted without a thought for his own safety, after a considerable foot chase and a violent struggle, arresting him. That Matt was in plain clothes made the whole episode more dangerous and he showed courage, quick thinking and great professionalism.”

She also commended a cyclist who stepped in to help Sgt Ebbs tackle Ekam.

Despite the efforts of members of the public, police officers and ambulance staff, the victim, 20-year old Mohamed Aadam Mohamed, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sgt Ebbs, who has been a police officer for five years and was a police constable at the time of the incident, said: “The events of that day were saddening and traumatic. I cannot begin to imagine the grief that is felt by Mohamed’s family.

“Like most days, I started my shift not knowing what I would be dealing with, but I never imagined that I would witness such an incident.

“The incident happened so quickly and after witnessing the attack I was faced with a man brandishing a knife running towards me and members of the public. My police training and instinct led me to confront and chase him but it was heartening that members of public tried to save the victim, and I am grateful that a passing cyclist, unaware of what had happened or the risks involved, bravely offered his help to me whilst I struggled with the suspect.

“I am humbled to have been awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation for bravery, but I have no doubt that I acted in the same way that many of my colleagues would have, doing what was right at the time to protect the public.”

Ekam was sentenced to life imprisonment on December 21, 2018.

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